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Hot Ticket: Penning The Carol – December 5 & December 21 & 22

Wed, Dec 4, 2013

Penning the Carol. Photo by Darrel Edwards

Unless you have a TARDIS or a time travelling phone booth or DeLorean, you’ll never know what it was like when Charles Dickens penned the perennial classic “A Christmas Carol.” Going to see a performance of Aiden Flynn’s “Penning The Carol” might just be the next best thing. For the 11th year running, the talented thespian presents his one-man show in which he supposes Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the rest of the cast of characters were conceived during a series of manic writing and storytelling sessions on Christmas Eve, 1843. This year, Flynn is bringing his show to the historic Commissariat House for one night only (December 5 at 7pm, tickets $40), which will also include a traditional Victorian repast. If plum pudding and mince meat pies (or whatever happens to be on the menu) aren’t your thing, you can also catch the show at the Arts & Culture Centre’s Barbara Barrett Theatre on December 21 at 6pm and December 22 at 1pm (PWYC) & 8pm.Tickets are $22/$25. Check your Bah Humbugs at the door.

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Hot Ticket: Belles & Bows – December 7

Wed, Dec 4, 2013

Belles burlesque. Photo by Scott Humber

Christmas is a time for family and friends, gorging on turkey dinners, excessively glittery and gaudy decorations, and watching a bevy of lovely ladies as they sexily sashay into the holiday season… right? This month, the Island Belles will be putting the happy back in the holidays at the Belles & Bows burlesque show. Join WankerGirl, Miss Kitty Fantastico, Honey Fury, Lou Lou Applebottom, Magic Myk, Vivi VonTease and the rest of the crew as they remove their stockings and woo the crowd with their special blend of sugar, spice and some smoky songs thrown in for good measure. The ladies of the Seraka Dance Company will also be shaking things up with their signature style of contemporary and fusion bellydance. Shag the nice and get naughty with the Belles at the Rock House on Saturday, December 7 at 8:30pm. Tickets are $12 advance and $15 at the door.

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Hot Ticket: Craft Sale Round-Up

Thu, Nov 7, 2013

Photo by ME Photography

The foliage is showing off its brilliant golden hues, the pumpkin spice lattes are out in full force and you can’t throw a rock without hitting a craft fair. In this crisp time of year, there’s nothing more satisfying than rummaging around a craft fair on a weekend afternoon and uncovering all manner of vamps (just like Nan used to knit!), mittens, jewellery, baked goods and other treats.
Here’s a round-up of some craft fairs you can hit up this fall: Comfort & Joy (St. John’s-Craft Council Gallery, Nov 2-Dec 18); Little Christmas Fair (St. John’s-Rocket Room, Nov 3); International Food & Craft Expo (Paradise-Rotary Paradise Youth & Community Centre, Nov 3; St. John’s-Holiday Inn, Nov 17); Craft Council Christmas Craft Fair (St. John’s-Arts & Culture Centre, Nov 6-10); SPCA Howliday Fair (St. John’s-St. Mary’s Church, Nov 9); A Holiday Gift Fair (Goulds-St. Kevin’s Parish Hall, Nov 11); Some Good Christmas Market (St. John’s-Canonwood Hall, Nov 16); St. John’s Farmers’ Market (Lion’s Club Chalet-every Saturday until Dec 21). Leave your rocks at home though, please.

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Bake Sale Fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis

Tue, Nov 5, 2013

This Saturday (November 9th) the second annual “Big Bake” will take place at The Rocket Room. The event is a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis and will feature live traditional music, food and fun for all. Here’s what organizer Derm Kean had to say about the event.

“The bake will be held at the Rocket Room on Saturday, November 9th from 12pm to 5pm. This year it looks as if it will be twice as large as last year’s, which raised $1600, with 70 bakers and counting donating baked goods for the cause. There will be a live traditional band belting out some tunes, coffee, and Quidi Vidi Beer, all for grabs with a donation made.”

Drop by, make a donation and enjoy good food, fun and music.

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Hot Ticket: Tall Tale Story Slam – October 30

Wed, Oct 30, 2013

Is there nothing better than a hot cup of Tetley with a heaping plate of story? As part of the 10th Annual St. John’s Storytelling Festival, Kelly Russell will be hosting a story slam around the theme “Smokeroom on the Kyle,” honouring the famous vessel (which is celebrating its centennial this year) and the epic poem penned by Kelly’s father, Ted Russell. Participants get five minutes each to woo the crowd with their fresh storytelling style, and winner takes all (which, in this case, is 150 bones). Do your best Grampa Walcott impression and see if you can tell a tale, so tall by half a mile. Yarns will be spinnin’ on Wednesday, October 30 at the Ship Pub. Admission is $5. Sign up 8:30pm, show starts 9pm.

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Hot Ticket: Japandroids and Metz – October 23 & 24

Wed, Oct 23, 2013

Photo by Colin Medley

It’s official: Vancouver’s Japandroids wins the prize for best indie use of Japan+[pun] for their band name. (At press time, Japanther, Japandemonium and Japancakes were seen sobbing into their Pabst Blue Ribbons.) And Toronto’s METZ wins for, uh, best uppercase spelling of a city in Lorraine or something. Both bands win for being two of the most exciting rock bands in Canada, in an era in which rock is in decline. They’re playing two dates in October in honour of Mightypop, the local promoters you can thank for bringing a half-decade worth of deadly shows to the island. They play the Rock House October 23 and October 24. Tickets are $20. Tickets for October 23 are sold out but there are still tickets for the 24th available.

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Hot Ticket: Paper Beat Scissors – October 3 & 4

Thu, Oct 3, 2013

Photo by Nick Wilkinson

If the genre hypernym “indie folk” is enough to make you jab chicken skewers into your eardrums lest the glib, dirt-stached navelgazings of Marcus Mumford et al should profane your discriminating earholes, don’t worry: Paper Beat Scissors ain’t like that at all (although yeah, it bears mentioning that the band is best classified as indie folk). Paper Beat Scissors, the moniker of Tim Crabtree, is living proof that there is life after Mumford. Crabtree is a Haligonian who originally hails from Lancashire, England (thus explaining the accented vocals). PBS’s songs are sincere and passionate. They’re the type of songs where with a mere guitar and a set of vocal chords, the performer can hold a room spellbound. Trust us on this. Paper Beat Scissors plays two dates in St. John’s before heading off to Europe: Fixed Coffee & Baking on October 3, and The Ship on October 4.

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Hot Ticket: Waving is Funny – October 8

Wed, Oct 2, 2013

Photo by James Bunton

There really is something hilarious about the ubiquitous, universal gesture of the wave. Stripped of all context, it’s just a person flapping their hand in the air, and that’s not very dignified. “Waving Is Funny” is Tina Fushell’s exploration of the hidden comedy of the wave. Her modern dance piece features images of waves, the classic stadium wave, and waves of emotion to evoke all angles of this taken-for-granted gesture. It’s produced in collaboration with Luke Garwood, Molly Johnson, James Bunton, Valerie Calam, and Brendan Jensen. Catch “Waving Is Funny” as part of the Festival of New Dance on Saturday, October 8 at 8pm at the LSPU Hall. Tickets are $27, and $17 for students and seniors.

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Hot Ticket: Worldwide Photo Walk – October 5

Wed, Oct 2, 2013

#say #what #youwantaboutit. #But it can hardly be denied that #Instagram and its ilk have been the #great #democratizers of #photography. Any fool with a phone can fiddle with a few knobs and dials and put their colour-adjusted, pre-filtered snaps out into the world. So then what’s left for the real photographers? The people with six lenses, a professional lighting setup and an encyclopedic knowledge of Photoshop? Luckily, there’s social events like the Worldwide Photo Walk, which takes place in downtown St. John’s (and in hundreds of other cities around the world). Actually, the Photo Walk invites both veteran photo-hawks and beginners alike. Participants will have an opportunity to socialize with like-minded people and scour historic downtown St. John’s for the perfect photo. Registration is at and there are prizes for best shots. The Photo Walk is on October 5.

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Hot Ticket: Ecomusicology- Sept 28

Mon, Sep 23, 2013

Talk about getting in tune with nature. “Expanding Ecomusicology: Exploring Sonic Culture and Environmental Change” will feature research presentations, demonstrations, and discussion on topics including soundwalking, sound art, performance ecology, and environmental issues in musical instrument manufacture. This one-day event will include presentations by scholars from several institutions, with a keynote lecture by Concordia University’s Dr. Andra McCartney, who will be leading a soundwalk through the Memorial University campus, titled “Memorial String of Pearls”. Free. Saturday, September 28, 2013 in the MMaP Gallery, Arts and Culture Centre. 8:30am-6:00pm. Details at

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Hot Ticket: Sting – June 26

Wed, Jun 26, 2013

A quick listen to a top-40s radio station today will tell you a couple of things. First, marketing wonks (that’s what they call producers now, right?) will apparently take any opportunity to insert a dubstep break, and second, there’s a major Police revival underway. You know, with those calypso sounds, reedy male vocals, and so forth. Well, Sting is just The Police minus the brilliant beatmaking of Stewart Copeland and that other dude who wrote the easiest track on Guitar Hero. In his latter years, Sting has strayed away from the infectious new wave that rocketed The Police to superstardom, preferring instead to release album after album of obtuse New Age stuff. But hey, it’s Sting! He’s bringing his worldbeat arsenal to Mile One on June 26. Tickets range from $69.50 to $124.50.

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Hot Ticket: Fresh Fish 7 – June 22

Fri, Jun 21, 2013

A good knick-knack, a fine piece of bric-a-brac: It just has a way of tying a room together every bit as well as, say, a hand-woven rug or an elegant chaise-longue. Craft markets are a great place to find that one-of-a-kind item you never knew you had to have. The Quidi Vidi Plantation is hosting Fresh Fish 7, a one-stop shop for all things crafted. Curated from a call for exhibitors from the emerging pool of craftspeople in Newfoundland and Labrador, the one-day event will feature clothing, jewelry, art, writing, and food. The Quidi Vidi Plantation is nestled in the tight rocky inlet of Quidi Vidi Village. What better place to spend a day in June? The fair is open from 10am to 4pm at 10 Maple View Place.

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Hot Ticket: Derek Seguin – June 12 to June 16

Tue, Jun 11, 2013

Quebec is a veritable comedy juggernaut. There’s something about the place that nurtures some of the planet’s funniest people. Just for example, the annual Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal is almost certainly the world’s preeminent comedy festival. As part of the Exit Realty on the Rock Comedy Festival here in town, Derek Seguin will be bringing his hilarious French Canadian wit to our shores. Seguin is a mainstay of the comedy festival circuit here in Canada, and he’s made a number of guest appearances on CBC Radio’s The Debaters. He’ll be making a couple of appearances throughout the festival, included a couple of dates with Debaters host Steve Patterson. The Comedy Festival runs from June 12 to June 16. Check out the listings section for individual dates and prices.

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Hot Ticket: Lisa Moore & Michael Crummey book launch – June 7

Thu, Jun 6, 2013

Lisa Moore has had a good year. Her second novel February, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, was selected as the 2013 Canada Reads winner. And now, the St. John’s-based author is poised to release her third novel, which follows the Moore pattern of pithy titles. It’s called Caught, and it’s about a prison escapee who embarks on an epic pot-smuggling scheme. We’re not sure if the title is a spoiler or not. At the same launch, Michael Crummey will be debuting a new book of poetry called Under The Keel. It seems like it’s a pretty big deal. The double launch will also feature music by singer-songwriter duo The Blue Drop. Check it out at Christina Parker Gallery at 50 Water Street at 7pm.

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Hot Ticket: Hayden – June 5

Tue, Jun 4, 2013

Hayden Desser likes to tell a story at his concerts about how once he was playing a gig in , and he happened to notice that the promo posters for the show were billing him as “The King of Mopecore”. That’s the first thing you’ve got to understand about Hayden: His tunes may be sad, but the man himself is charming and hilarious. His live shows consist alternatingly of tracks from his, it has to be said, depressing oeuvre and him recounting hilarious stories like how Starbucks customers complained about his song “Woody”, which was anthologized on one of their compilations. (The punchline is that “Woody” isn’t about boners, it’s about his cat who leaves for a few weeks every spring to get laid.) Hayden’s been a key member of the Canadian indie music scene since 1995 and has a remarkably solid catalogue to show for it. Check him out June 5 at the Rock House. Tickets are $27.99 in advance, and $32.99 at the door.

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